Airbnb ‘Host’ – Everything You Need to Know

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Airbnb is a global online platform that connects people who are seeking accommodation to those renting out their rooms or homes. As an Airbnb host, you can earn a supplementary income. We have received a few questions through our Facebook group, regarding the basics of hosting, how much can you earn as a host, as well as some rules and regulations when hosting. Let’s break the hosting experience down to the ‘need-to-know’ points.

Airbnb Host Meaning – What is a Host?

An Airbnb host is someone that rents out their space to guests in return for compensation. Whether it is a room, apartment, or house, a host welcomes guests to their property just as they would in a hotel. 

Getting started on Airbnb has never been easier. Simply enter your personal and property details, some photos of your property, and your chosen nightly rate. After you have completed the required information, your listing will be visible to the world and will be available for guests to book. Congratulations, you are now a host! 

What percentage does Airbnb take from the host?

Hosting on Airbnb can be very profitable. Unlike some home-share platforms that take 5%-10%, or charge hosts an annual fee, Airbnb charges hosts a 3% commission per booking. 

As an example, for a booking with a total of $200, you, as the host, can earn $194. You may also charge reasonable fees for cleaning, additional guests, and pets that are not service animals (see your specific state rules and ADA requirements about pets in rental properties).

How does Airbnb pay the host?

Airbnb has 6 payment methods for a host to choose from:

  • Direct Deposit – Up to 3 business days
  • Bank Transfer/ International Wire – 3-7 business days
  • PayPal – Within 1 business day
  • Western Union – 1 business day (US Pacific Time)
  • Payoneer Prepaid Debit Card – Within 1 business day
  • Alipay – Instant (mainland China only)

Do hosts stay with guests on Airbnb?

Hosts can stay with guests if they are renting a room in their house or apartment. Of course, if you are listing an entire house or property, the host won’t be sleeping under the same roof as the guests. Again, there are different options for renting out an Airbnb; whether you have a room or entire flat or house to rent.

If you don’t have the luxury of renting out a whole apartment or house (a secondary property), and you want to see how Airbnb works, then renting a room is the way to go. You will be staying with your guest and who knows, maybe you will find yourself a new friend!

Airbnb Host Obligations

In order to become and maintain Airbnb host status, there are a few obligations that you must adhere to consistently. By no means are these obligations hard to sustain, they are merely common sense.

Responsiveness – Keep a high response rate. Achieve this by responding to booking inquiries and requests within 24 hours. 

Accept booking requests – Consistently accepting requests will go a long way to bolstering guest satisfaction as well as your standing as a host with Airbnb. Simply accept whenever you and your listing are available and you are confident in the guest inquiring. 

Avoid cancellations – Following on from the point above, every booking you decline is recorded by Airbnb. You only have so many strikes before your hosting status is suspended or taken away. If you have “instant book” switched on and you cannot accommodate the request for any reason, let the guest know by sending them a message. 

Maintain a high rating – The first thing guests look at is ratings. If you have a 4-star rating and above, you will almost always receive inquiries. Maintain the rating by providing exceptional service to guests, communicating well, and providing a clean, safe, and comfortable place.

Airbnb also strongly encourages all hosts to provide basic amenities for guests. For example, shampoo, soap, towels, toilet paper, linen, and pillows. Having the essentials will help your guests be stress-free during their stay.


If you have a spare room and you have always wanted to see first-hand how Airbnb works, jump on the setup page and get rolling! Again, it depends on how you see Airbnb fitting in with your life. Maybe you just want to try it out for a little side income, or perhaps you see yourself building an Airbnb empire with several properties.

Airbnb offers many ways for people to get involved in the platform and there is no more rewarding way than to join as a host. Despite your reasons for hosting on Airbnb, it is a simple and easy way to meet new people, bring out that inner hotelier in you and exceed your guest’s expectations! 

About the Author Jake Leavy

Jake Leavy has worked in the content industry for 8+ years. Travel writing has been his main focus, however, he also has luxury hotel management experience under his belt. He has traveled to over 50 countries and loves immersing himself into different cultures. Jake combines his passion for travel and hospitality experience to offer hosts tips and tricks to improve their business.